Raúl O. Paz Pastrana

Raúl Paz-Pastrana is a Mexican immigrant filmmaker whose work intersects contemporary art, political documentary, and visual ethnography to explore themes of belonging, alienation, and the concept of “home.” Raúls films have screened at international museums and festivals including Sheffield Doc/Fest, the Museum of the Moving Image, and at the Guadalajara International Film Fest. He has received support from the Princess Grace Foundation, JustFilms, ITVS, Catapult, and the Sundance Institute, among others. Raul is an IFP/Gotham Filmmaker Labs fellow, a Firelight Media Documentary Lab Fellow, a New America National Fellow, and a Creative Capital Awards Artist Fellow.


To stem the immigration tide, Mexico and the U.S. collaborate to crack down on migrants, forcing them into ever more dangerous territory. Every year hundreds of thousands of migrants make their way along the trail running from southern Mexico to the US border. Gustavo’s gunshot wounds from Mexican police, which have achieved abundant press attention, might just earn him a ticket out of Nicaragua. Meanwhile anthropologist Jason painstakingly collects the trail’s remains, which have their own stories to tell. Fragmented stories from Hondurans crossing through southern Mexico assemble a vivid portrait of the thousands of immigrants who disappear along the trail. Border South reveals the immigrants’ resilience, ingenuity, and humor as it exposes a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death.


Border South

Program Affiliation

Documentary Lab
Spark Fund

Cohort Year

2018-2020 (Documentary Lab)
2022 (Spark Fund)





Documentary Lab
Spark Fund

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